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Changing Faces and Changing Hearts

Expectancy filled the air at the Renton Farmers' Market .The M.C. said that we were going to see a performance rarely seen outside of Mainland China called Changing Faces. Every chair under the small canopy seating  fifty people was filled.  A middle aisle divided  the chairs into two sections. The rest us were crowded around the  canopy under the blazing sun happily anticipating the upcoming act.   Everything was going well and we could all see. Abruptly a woman got up from her chair and came and stood among the chairs in front of everyone. I thought, "Well, that was certainly rude."  The elderly disabled women who were seated  couldn’t see and couldn’t move. I walked up to the offending person and politely asked, “ Could you please move because you are blocking the view” , while I  pointed to the seated women. What happened next shocked me. The woman turned around angrily and snarled like a rabid dog growling, “It’s a public place, I’ll stand where I want.” Stunned faces turned towards me.  I guess they were waiting for me to respond in like manner. I shrugged my shoulders. “Oops,” I thought, “Well I tried,” and retreated to my former spot.

That morning I had prayed, " Dear God help me to not be reactionary to every thing that happens around me." I’d prayed that because lately I found myself becoming hostile to crazy driving while thinking awful things about those unknown drivers. Additionally my blood pressure had been rising at the increase of people who honk their horns to move the millisecond a light turned green.*  Now here I was outside the comfort and safety of my car face to face with a raging woman. I began to silently pray. I asked God to calm me. I also wondered why she would act that way over a simple request. I thought of writing  the Golden Rule on a card and slipping it to her.  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I wondered if she had a mother who was disabled, would she like someone to stand and block her view?  After a few stubborn moments she eventually inched her way over to the aisle where she was not blocking anyone. As the M.C. previously announced  the performance was mesmerizing and magical.

After about ten minutes, in between performances the woman turned around and looked at me. She was actually quite attractive. Her features had softened into a pleasant face framed by her blond hair. She said, “I am so sorry that I talked to you that way.” “I didn’t mean to come across like that,” she sheepishly continued. I responded, “I accept your apology.” I’m thinking maybe she had prayed that morning too.

Proverbs 17:27 The one who knows much says little; an understanding person remains calm.

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*To those who live outside of Seattle: Honking one's horn when the light turns green is anathema and very rarely done. In fact one rarely hears honking horns at all.


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